Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Guarnaccia brings success to women’s cross country

As the team is instructed to raise their legs at a 90 degree angle to their body on the floor, in a series of exercises, one leg is closer to that number than just about all the rest. That runner continues to complete her exercises fully and doesn’t let up when the bulk of the team takes their breaks.

Katie Guarnaccia, a cinema production major, is that runner, an athlete who is breaking records and bringing great success to Point Park.

“She is a really hard-working runner,” said roommate, fellow runner and sophomore intelligence and national security major McKenzie Wilson in a telephone interview.

Guarnaccia ran cross country briefly in middle school before she started doing it regularly alongside track from her junior year at North Allegheny High School. She decided to run because she felt she had to.

“I know if I didn’t do a sport I’d be wasting my genes,” Guarnaccia said.

Her father played football when he was in school, and her mother played a variety of sports, including swimming and softball. Now, her mother teaches physical education. The two are happy to see their daughter in college, as she initially wasn’t a fan of the idea of pursuing higher education.

“High school was really boring for me,” Guarnaccia said. “College is different.”

While academics were never a problem for her, the rigorous schedule of stacked classes for over six hours a day, every day of the work week, wore her out. Now, she enjoys the more specified, flexible schedule of college, those days of dreading more schooling are behind her.

That isn’t to say that she doesn’t find herself busy in college.

During her time at Point Park, Guarnaccia has broken a number of the University’s records and won numerous awards for her cross country running. As a freshman, she placed second in the 2014 Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) XC Conference Championships, with a time of 19:24 and a pace of 6:15. The same year she placed 115 out of 336 runners in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Cross Country Championships, tied in points with the places directly above and below her at 90.

Her training is important to her and something she doesn’t take lightly. She bikes on the weekends to keep her legs in shape without wearing them down.

“She takes it very seriously,” said teammate and freshman cinema production major Tyler Morris.

Guarnaccia uses her brain in an efficient manner too.

“There’s a lot of thinking involved [in running] and she is good at that,” Morris said.

Point Park cross country coach Kelly Parsley pointed out her ability to block out worrisome thoughts, like how she is doing compared to opponents.

“She is very strong mentally,” Parsley said. Despite her accomplishments, Guarnaccia isn’t a show-boat.

“She’s not someone who brags about it,” Wilson said.

In fact, she actively seeks out stories of what other people are involved in, according to Morris.

“She is very interested in what other people are doing,” Morris said.

Guarnaccia has enjoyed movies since she was young, and now she is trying to make them. She isn’t sure what specific aspect of cinema production she wants to pursue, but she does know she wants it to be creative, she explained.

“I wanted to do something I didn’t think I’d get bored with in life,” Guarnaccia said.

Far from bored, Guarnaccia finds it difficult to fit filming and doing other work for her film classes into her schedule alongside her athletics, but this doesn’t kill her enthusiasm.

She is also a sociology minor, and wants to bring that interest of hers into her film-making. She wants to put a spotlight on injustice in the world with her movies, she explained.

“I want to make the world a better place,” she said with a laugh.

She is at least making the lives of her friends better. Wilson finds her fun to be around.

“She has a very bubbly personality,” Wilson said.

She is certainly giving reason for her coach to smile as well.

“She is possibly one of the best athletes I’ve ever coached,” Parsley said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Point Park Globe Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *